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12 best Genoa beaches and beachside accommodation

The Genoa beaches of Liguria and the Italian Riviera are deservedly some of the most sought-after travel destinations in Italy. The port city of Genoa is the capital of the Ligurian region and was a maritime republic from the 11th century called the Most Serene Republic of Genoa. When you’re not enjoying this rejuvenated ancient port, head to its Mediterranean beaches. Along Genoa’s coastline is a sandy, rocky, free, or equipped beach to satisfy every need. Here are the 12 best beaches in Genoa and where to stay by the beaches.

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1. Paraggi Beach (Baia di Paraggia) – Portofino – within walking distance of nightlife and luxury hotels

Located in the eastern part of Genoa, Portofino is one of the loveliest spots on the planet and has one of the best beaches in Genoa. It is the ideal place to be as sun sets.

Paraggia-Beach-Portofino-Italy
Paraggi Beach (Baia di Paraggia), Portofino, Italy

This bay is home to Paraggi Beach, a sandy beach with a clear seabed and emerald turquoise waters. Not surprisingly, it is chosen by snorkelers both for spotting local species and for the underwater statue of Olivetta.

Divers enter the water from the small pebble beach, which is also taken by storm by tourists who come here to indulge in a pizza at sunset and enjoy the splendid water quality.

Free or paid

Free beach in the middle with various accesses and equipped private beaches at either end. Sun loungers are expensive here – expect to pay 200-240 Euros.

Getting there

Paraggi beach can be reached from nearby Portofino and Santa Margherita Ligure either by your own car or public transportation. Perhaps the most beautiful way is to walk along the shoreline promenade – it takes 30 minutes. Alternatively, the bus costs 3 Euros.

TIPS

Don’t drive here on summer weekends, when this place is very crowded-and get here early if you want to reserve a sun bed/ beach chair.

What to see nearby the beach

The promenade that starts in Santa Margherita continues to Portofino. You may well find yourself rubbing shoulders with global celebrities on the Ligurian Riviera, but most likely in stunning Portofino.

The historic center is home to upscale stores, Michelin-starred restaurants, and bars where you can enjoy an Italian aperitif by the sea.

Genoa beaches are varied, stunning, and an essential part of any visit to Genoa in the summertime. The old port city is full of stately money from an era when it was one of the busiest and wealthiest ports on the Mediterranean. The rock star status of Portofino and the impossible beauty of the Cinque Terre villages make Genoa an ideal base for exploring the Italian Riviera.

Where to stay in Portofino by the beach

Hotel Piccolo Portofino – right on the seafront with a private beach and bar, 400 meters from the center of Portofino. The views from the private terraces, and balconies and from the stylishly decorated rooms and suites are exquisite.

Clara’s House – a well-equipped 2-bedroom sea view apartment of 50 sq m, 700 m from Spiaggia dell’ Olivetta and 1.6 km from Paraggi Beach. In the center of the lovely village, the rooms are modern and stylish rooms and there are unbelievable views of the sea from the living room.

2. Baia del Silenzio – Sestri Levante: picturesque and sandy

Baia del Silenzio in Sestri Levante is known for being an idyllic place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city center, without sacrificing comfort! It has been frequented by the writer Hans Christian Andersen, the composer Richard Wagner, and by the inventor, Guglielmo Marconi.

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Baia del Silenzio, Genoa, Italy

Behind the Bay, colorful houses typical of Riviera Liguria rise up several stories, but on the flat promenade around the Bay, these Genoa beaches are designed to be accessible to everyone, including those with strollers/baby carriages.

Free or paid

There are fee-paying equipped beaches that are free in the off-season months. There is also a free area with quotas for attendance. You can’t book this area in advance, so get here early!

Getting there

Baia del Silenzio is easily reached by train from downtown Genoa thanks to its convenient train station. A train every 30 minutes connects the capital to the small town on the Riviera di Levante.

What to see nearby the beach

Sestri Levante has much to offer visitors. The Aquarium exhibits local marine life, while the Tigullio Laboratory offers interesting and educational exhibits about the environment. A walk to the promontory of Punta Manara is a favorite Genoese pastime.

Where to stay in Sestri Levante by the beach

Grande Albergo is a four-star hotel on the promenade opposite the beach and with a rooftop pool with views across the Bay. The rooms have partial sea views and lush garden views.

Hotel Helvetia – a four-star hotel overlooking the Baia del Silenzio. Sea views from the rooms but also pool views, with a hydromassage pool, a heated pool, and a rooftop terrace.

3. Boccadasse Beach – Genoa: ideal for an aperitivo

Accessible from the Corso Italia promenade, Boccadasse beach is best known as a fishing village. It is one of Genoa’s most popular beaches, thanks in part to the many clubs that have sprung up offering sea-view aperitifs every evening.

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The clear waters of Boccadasse beach, Genoa, Italy

The Corso Italia promenade is home to the city’s best beaches.

Free or paid

Spiaggia di Boccadasse is a free public beach.

Getting there

This small village can be reached from the Genova Brignole train station in 5 minutes by getting off at the Genova Sturla stop. Just a few minutes away is the small sandy beach.

What to see nearby this genoa beach

Boccadasse is one of Genoa’s historic neighborhoods where you’ll find the old houses of local fishermen.

At Capo Santa Chiara, now a Michelin-starred restaurant, there is a view from the panoramic terrace that covers the entire gulf.

Where to stay in Boccadasse by the beach

Nel Gozzo sul Mare – Genovainrelax – Just above Boccadasse beach, this apartment has a patio with sea views and is close to many restaurants and cafes.

Un Tuffo in Mare – the most wonderful sea views from the terrace and balcony of this 2-bedroom apartment. It has a garden and is just 200 meters from Capolungo Beach.

4. San Fruttuoso Beach – Camogli: from the sea to the mountains in minutes

San Fruttuoso Beach lies in the heart of the Portofino Natural Park. What makes this spot unique is the presence of the ancient abbey. The backdrop to this crystal clear blue water is the nature park running down to meet the sea.

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San Fruttuoso Beach, Bay of Capodimonte, Camogli, Italy

Much loved by those who practice scuba diving, San Fruttuoso Beach is where divers enter the Ligurian sea to explore the statue of the Christ of the Abyss.

TIPS

If you’re planning a long hike, consider stopping by La Rotonda Bar in Camogli for fortification!

Free or paid

Free and equipped beach where you can rent umbrellas.

Getting there

Reachable on foot from Camogli and Portofino by trekking or by boat from Camogli, Genoa, Recco, or Portofino.

What to see nearby the beach

In San Fruttuoso it is worth visiting the Abbey. In nearby Camogli, on the other hand, it is possible to have a more secular experience, admiring the typical Ligurian Caruggi, tasting the local focaccia, and stopping to browse through the craft stores.

And of course, there are Genoa beaches everywhere along here and you’ll find a pebble beach, just minutes from the city centre.

Where to stay in Camogli by the beach

Sublimis Boutique Hotels – Adults Only – right on the seafront with Camogli beach 80 meters away. This 4-star property has superb sea views from the rooms that also have terraces and hot tubs.

Hotel Cenobio Dei Dogi – a stunning 4-star hotel that looks like a film set! It has a private beach, pool, and sea view restaurant. The elegant rooms have wooden floors. The hiking path starts just outside the hotel.

5. Pozzetto Beach – Rapallo, Zoagli: sheltered by the rocks

These two beaches have recovered following the storm surge that hit the Riviera in 2018. These are beautiful beaches where the water quality is superb because of the currents.

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XVI century castle and beach of Rapallo, Italy

The characteristic feature of these beach resorts is the presence of cliffs overlooking the blue water.

Free or paid

Free beach with an equipped section.

Getting there

It can be reached by driving your own vehicle along the Aurelia highway and then taking a footpath that leads directly to the bay. Of the beaches near Genoa, it is among the most convenient to reach by public transportation.

What to see nearby the beach

Zoagli and Rapallo are two typical Ligurian villages known not only for their public beaches but also for the surrounding area that offers natural and historic attractions. These are two areas that come alive in the summertime with many waterfront clubs and events.

Where to stay in Rapallo by the beach

Excelsior Palace Portofino Coast– a glorious 5-star hotel where even the fitness center has magnificent sea views. The lovely rooms have terraces and you can dine at either the Lord Byron restaurant that overlooks Tigullio Gulf or choose à-la-carte from the Eden Roc restaurant at the hotel’s private beach.

Hotel Astoria – a highly reviewed 4-star hotel on the promenade with sea views and a wellness and fitness center and most rooms overlook the Tigullio Gulf.

6. Vesima – Genova: a long sandy beach

Vesima’s is one of the Genoa beaches favored by international tourists. Unvisited until a few years ago, it now attracts tourists from all over the world thanks to its lovely clear waters.

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The clear blue water of Vesiam beach, Riviera di Ponente, Genoa

Located on the Riviera di Ponente, it is ideal for enjoying a visit to Genoa on a sunny day.

Free or paid

It alternates between equipped free spaces and private establishments.

Getting there

It can be easily reached by train from Genoa city center in about 15 minutes, on the Ventimiglia- Savona line. There are also very convenient parking spaces abutting the beach.

What to see nearby the beach

Vesima is not far from Genoa Voltri. You can follow the roads up into the Ligurian hinterland, where there are spectacular views of the coast and its beaches.

7. Santa Margherita Ligure Beaches: city conveniences and mountain trails

There is a huge selection of sandy beaches in Santa Margherita and ample space for your four-legged friend.

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View of Santa Margherita, Genoa, Italy

It is essentially divided into four practical bathing areas by stone piers.

It is often chosen for the multitude of paths and trails that climb into the surrounding hills so you can hike and then swim within a short train ride from the city.

Free or paid

There are private, free, and equipped establishments.

Getting there

It can be reached by train from Genoa city centre, by the handy e-bike service, and by bus from Portofino.

What to see nearby the beach

Santa Margherita is ideal for enjoying a homemade breakfast at one of the many places by the sea. This stretch of the Ligurian coast is popular with foreign tourists, so the historic center is full of cafes, bars, and restaurants.

Where to stay in Santa Margherita Ligure by the beach

Imperiale Palace Hotel – feel like Italian nobility in this classic and elegant seaside 5-star 19th-century villa once owned by a noble family. Most rooms have panoramic sea views.

Grand Hotel Miramare – A superb 5-star hotel overlooking the Gulf of Tigullio. The rooms have sea views and balconies, and there’s a sun terrace and a saltwater pool in a lush garden by the beach.

Eight Hotel Paraggi – an intimate seaside hotel that offers privacy and an ideal location – close to both Portofino and the Cinque Terre (30 minutes away by car). With a private beach, modern rooms with views across the Bay, and an excellent bar area, this is a chic and clever choice.

8. Capolungo Beach – Genova Nervi: away from the city chaos

Capolungo Beach is among Genoa’s most compact – it’s a small beach nestled between typical Ligurian buildings and rocks.

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Capolungo Beach, Genoa-Nervi, Genoa, Italy

If you’re after Genoa’s sandy beaches, this is not the beach for you, but Capolungo, like the beaches of the Cinque Terre villages, is popular because of the context in which it is set.

Being in the center of one of Genoa’s neighborhoods, it is easily accessible and is made striking by the presence of the Nervi Parks and amazing views. (And I love the name – the Village of Nerves!)

Free or paid

There are no lifeguards on patrol at this beach.

Getting there

It can be reached on foot from the long beach promenade, Anita Garibaldi, using the train that connects from Genoa Brignole to Genoa Nervi station which takes only a few minutes.

What to see nearby the beach

Don’t miss the Nervi Parks. A vast green area near Genoa where you can attend events or simply stroll around. Some of the city’s most beautiful and historic villas (part of the old town) are located here.

9. Cogoleto beaches: equipped pebble beaches

As you’ll have realized by now, the Ligurian coast offers a diverse array of beaches, and this includes the area of Cogoleto. Here the best sandy beaches in the region alternate with pebble and gravel beaches.

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Sunrise at Cogoleto beach, Genoa

Cogoleto also has one of the longest beaches in the entire region at 3 km (1.9 miles).

Along this stretch are beautiful sandy beaches with golden sands, and public pebble beaches with sparkling blue water.

Curiosity

It is the last municipality in the Genoa province before entering Savona.

Free or paid

All kinds of beaches front the clear blue water of the Ligurian Riviera.

Getting there

It can be reached by train from Genoa on the line to Savona. Connections are very frequent. If you’re driving, parking is easy as there are numerous parking lots in the village.

What to see nearby the beach

Cogoleto is a classic Ligurian village with a pedestrian main street where I like to hunt for local delicacies and the fantastic focaccia.

10. Baia dei Frati – Recco: between history and surf

Friars’ Bay is a secluded beach near Genoa. Formed in 1915 after a flood, it was first home to rocks that were reserved for the convent, the reason for its name.

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Recco, near Genoa, Italy

It’s a picturesque setting and the beach is made of fine gravel. There are bars and restaurants here and a swimming pool by the sea.

Free or paid

Free and equipped beach.

Getting there

About 30 minutes by train from Genoa, the station is a 5-minute walk from the beach.

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Focaccia di Recco with pesto

What to see nearby the beach

Recco is a relatively new town, rebuilt after the bombings of World War II, and a starting point for several nature trails. It is the historic home of Focaccia di Recco, a cheese specialty.

Outside the province, but within a short distance

11. Cinque Terre beaches: a plunge into UNESCO heritage

The Cinque Terre is a true piece of paradise on the Italian coast. In fact, the villages and national park are UNESCO world heritage sites.

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Monterosso al Mare, Cinque Terre

The most popular beaches near Genoa in this area are in Monterosso al Mare, Guvano beach in Corniglia, Vernazza beach, and Canneto beach in Riomaggiore. Ideal for boating or enjoying a day at the beach with the family, it’s a terrific day trip from Genoa.

TIPS

It’s best to get to the Cinque Terre by public transportation. Due to the location of the villages like Vernazza on narrow rocky coves above the sea, there aren’t enough roads and parking lots to provide adequate service for the increasing number of visits. There is a paid parking lot at the top of Manarola Village.

Free or paid

Beaches of all types.

Getting there

The Cinque Terre Express train leaves every 15 minutes from Genoa.

What to see nearby the beach

This slice of Liguria is often described as a graceful Christmas crib. The perched villages, in fact, are reminiscent of it. Once fishing villages, they are now a famous and important tourist destination for the Liguria region. A trip to the Italian Riviera without visiting (and preferably staying in Cinque Terra for a few days) is unthinkable!

Where to stay in the Cinque Terre

The Cinque Terre is a must if you’re visiting Genoa, even though you won’t find the long stretches of sand of the best Genoa beaches, you will find one of the prettiest parts of Italy. Read more about:

12. Baia dei Saraceni – Varigotti: a free beach in the wilderness

A free beach on the Riviera di Ponente. Located in the province of Savona, it is the ideal beach if the port city is feeling crowded and you’d love to feel surrounded by the hills and sea instead.

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Baia dei Saraceni, Savona, Italy

Baia dei Saraceni is an ancient Byzantine port considered wild and unspoiled. The most interesting way to reach the beach of Punta Crena is by swimming.

Free or paid

Equipped beach with entrance fee.

Getting there

It can be reached by train from Genoa on the Savona- Ventimiglia line in about 45 minutes.

What to see nearby the beach

Varigotti is a small Ligurian village that has maintained its traditional layout. It’s known for its history of Saracen incursions, which gives the beach its name.

Very charming even in winter, when, without crowds, it manages to be at its best. It’s a beach resort popular with Italian and foreign visitors.